The Tribune – India demands legal action against those who tore Tricolour during Modi’s UK visit

London – UK, 20 April 2018. India has demanded legal action against those behind the desecration of the Indian flag at Parliament Square here during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UK visit.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the matter had been taken up with the UK government and had been regretted at the highest level.

“We are deeply anguished with the incident involving our National Flag at Parliament Square. The matter was taken up promptly and strongly with the UK side, and it has been regretted at highest level,” Ministry of Exernal Affair spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters on Thursday.

“We expect action, including legal action, against the people involved in the incident and also people responsible for instigating the incident,” he said.

Prime Minister Modi, after his arrival in the country, was greeted by some groups protesting against atrocities in India.

On Wednesday, during the bilateral leg of Modi’s visit to the UK, some protesters at Parliament Square turned aggressive during which the Indian Tricolour was torn down from one of the official flagpoles set up for all 53 Commonwealth countries to mark the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and ripped up by some protesters.

The perpetrators, caught on camera, were pro-Khalistani demonstrators brought together with Kashmiri separatist groups under the banner of the so-called ‘Minorities Against Modi’ group, led by Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed.

There is growing pressure on the UK government to act against Ahmed, who is seen as repeatedly “instigating” violence against India on the UK soil.

A UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson said the UK government had been in touch with the Indian High Commission soon after the incident.

“While people have the right to hold peaceful protests, we are disappointed with the action taken by a small minority in Parliament Square and contacted High Commissioner Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha as soon as we were made aware,” a spokesperson said.

Scotland Yard also issued a statement following the protests and confirmed that it is investigating the incident involving the Indian tricolour being pulled down.

“Police are investigating after an Indian flag in Parliament Square was pulled down at 15:00 [UK time] on Wednesday, 18 April. The flag has been replaced. There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue,” a Metropolitan Police statement said.

A senior broadcast journalist from one of the leading Indian media channels covering the protests, who was caught up in the scrum, has now also registered a formal police complaint with the Met Police.

“To my shock, the protesters while raising anti-India slogans brought the Indian flag down, tore it with scissors until it was completely destroyed…Within seconds, I was pushed, abused and intimidated,” Loveena Tandon, who represents Aaj Tak news channel in the UK, said in a statement.

“A message must be sent to all those out there that we journalists make people aware of what is going on in the world. Shutting us up or being violent towards us defeats their own purpose of being heard,” she said.

The incident also went viral on social media, with people expressing their shock and support to the journalist who was caught up in the incident.

The groups involved were seen with “Free Jaggi” posters and T-shirts, calling for the release of Jagtar Singh Johal who is lodged in a Punjab jail over his alleged involvement in the targeted killings in the state.


Tongeren – Hoepertingen

22 February 2018

Tongeren NMBS Station

23 February 2018

Opposite the Gurdwara : For Sale

Opposite the Gurdwara : For Sale

Gurdwara Sahib
A recent fire has damaged the old wing of the Gurdwara

Guru Ram Dass Sikh Study & Cultural Centre
Smisstraat 8
B-3840 Borgloon

Truierweg : For Sale

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Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen

Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen
22 February 2018

Liège Guillemins – ICE Brussel – Frankfurt

Tongeren: The Luik – Hasselt train

Tongeren NMBS: Pedestrian subway

Tongeren: De Lijn Bus stand

De Lijn bus to Liège/Luik

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BBC News – Protest over detention of Scots Sikh Jagtar Singh Johal

Supporters of a Scottish man detained in India on suspicion of murder have staged a protest in London.

London – UK, 18 April 2018. Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, was arrested in Punjab last November.

Campaigners said the 31-year-old Sikh has been held without charge and tortured. Indian authorities said he is being investigated over seven counts of aiding and abetting of murder.

The protest coincided with the arrival in the UK of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He is in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May raised Mr Johal’s case with Prime Minister Modi when they met on Wednesday morning.

Mr Johal’s brother, Gurpreet Singh, is among those who travelled from Glasgow to take part in the protest in Parliament Square.

His family have said Mr Johal was a peaceful activist who had contributed to a website remembering the 1984 massacre at the Golden Temple at Amritsar but was not a militant.

He was arrested in Punjab on 4 November, just over a fortnight after his wedding.

His supporters claim he has had limited access to his family and to a lawyer, and they have also said reports of torture have been ignored.

Charandeep Singh, from Glasgow Gurdwara, who was among those protesting in London, told BBC Scotland: “What we are asking and urging the government of India and the authorities to do is to actually present the evidence and actually outline what the official charge is.

“If we understand what the official charge is, if there is one, then we are able to present a case, and he can actually rightfully defend himself.”

The Indian High Commission has previously said each of the cases against Mr Johal was proceeding “strictly as per due process of Indian law, as in any mature democratic set-up”.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister raised Mr Johal’s case with Prime Minister Modi this morning and the government will continue to make representations on his behalf until our concerns are addressed.

“Our High Commission staff in India have visited Mr Johal 10 times since his detention, most recently on 22 March, and the Foreign Office are in regular contact with his family.”

Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen

Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen
22 February 2018

Liège Guillemins

15:24 Tongeren Hasselt

These units should be assigned to the rail museum !

Liège Guillemins

Modern EMU mostly used on commuter services

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Dawn – Hundreds of protesters confront Modi in London

London – UK, 19 April 2018. Hundreds of noisy protesters greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in London on Wednesday.

Holding placards reading “Modi go home” and “we stand against Modi’s agenda of hate and greed”, they gathered outside Downing Street and parliament as Modi arrived for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.

The demonstrators included Muslims and Sikhs, who called for end to religious persecution, and human rights activists, who called for end to violence against women.

Kashmiris held aloft flags, while others displayed posters depicting an eight-year-old Muslim girl, who was raped and murdered earlier this year in a brutal attack blamed on Hindu men.

“Lots of different groups are here,” said Dupinder Jit, a Sikh businessman. “What is happening in Modi’s regime is unacceptable, he is killing minorities.”

Sexual violence against women is a highly charged political issue in India, where protests regularly erupt about entrenched violence against women and the failure to protect them.

“The Indian government is doing nothing, and you feel sorry for the families because of the total injustice of it all,” said Navindra Singh, an Indian-born lawyer who lives in Britain.

“He has been in power for four years now and there has been no policy change to help protect women and children.”

Protests have erupted across India after the latest rape cases were reported. Police officers and a politician are under investigation in two of the unrelated cases.

In a crime that shocked India, an eight-year-old Muslim girl in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir was kidnapped, drugged and held for several days while she was raped repeatedly and then murdered.

In the other case, a state lawmaker from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party stands accused of raping a teenager. No action was taken against the politician until the girl threatened to set herself on fire earlier this month. Her father died soon afterwards from injuries he sustained while in police custody.

Modi addressed the outrage over the rapes last week by promising justice regardless of whoever the guilty were.

Nearly 40 per cent of India’s rape victims are children and the 40,000 reported rapes in 2016 marked a 60 per cent increase over the level in 2012. But women’s rights groups say the figures are still gross underestimates.

Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen

Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen
22 February 2018

Liège Guillemins

Liège Guillemins – 15:05 IC to Brussel and Oostende

Liège Guillemins – 15:14 IC to Rivage and Marloie

Liège Guillemins – Security Control

Liège Guillemins – 15:11 L train to Namur (Namen)

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Leuven NMBS and Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen

Leuven NMBS
21 February 2018

EMU to Ottignies

L Train to Mechelen / Sint-Niklaas

16:19 to Brussel / Gent / Brugge / Blankenberge

Gent – Luik (Liège) – Tongeren – Hoepertingen
22 February 2018

Liège Guillemins – Verviers Central – Eupen
The train that took me from Gent to Luik / Liège

Liège Guilleminsthe same train, seen from above

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Gent: City Hall – Macharius Kerk

City Hall / Stadhuis
20 February 2018

A beautiful building


Stadhuis and Belfort

Macharius kerk (church)
21 February 2018

Seen from Spaans kasteelplein

A better view of the building

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Nottingham Post – Singing and sword displays as Sikh religious parade brightens city streets

Ben Reid

It marked the festival of Vaisakhi

Nottingham – Nottinghamshire – UK, 15 April 2018. Five temples [Gurdwaras] over four hours, and plenty of noise and colour, this was the colourful picture as a Sikh parade made its way through the streets of Nottingham today (Sunday).

The procession, named the Nagar Kirtan, was celebrating the religious festival of Vaisakhi.

It began in Church Street, Lenton, at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, and then moved through Radford, Hyson Green, Old Basford and New Basford – visiting another five Gurdwaras, along the way.

The celebrations involved singing, chanting, hymns and commemorative sword displays along to music being played.

Ravinder Patel, 27, from Forest Fields was taking part in the parade.

He said: “This is one of Sikhism’s most important days and I am very proud to be involved. It’s a day of great celebration and respect for everyone.”

Gurmeet Singh is president of the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara where the procession began in Lenton.

He added: “This is a very big time of year for the Sikh community when all Sikhs congregate to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa.”

Vaisakhi  is NOT the Sikh New Year Festival. It commemorates 1699, the year Sikhism was born as a collective faith under the Khalsa.

The Khalsa, the community of all Sikhs, was created by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 and the five Beloved Ones – or Panji Pyare – who were represented by five Sikhs at the parade.

Harvey Singh, 42, from Radford, was volunteering at the event.

He said: “We do this every year, this is the biggest procession in Nottingham. It’s a great day for our religion.

“I’m honoured to help out in any way I can and the event is going smoothly. There is great respect and love here today.”

Staff from both Notts Police and Notts Fire were on hand to help the smooth running of the parade.

And Himat Taak from Carlton, was driving a minibus that elderly Sikhs could ride in to make sure everyone enjoyed the festivities.

He said: “This is a huge celebration of Sikhism, all over the UK and in India. I am taking our older population for Sewa (an act of kindness without expectation) so everyone can enjoy the celebrations.